July 5 1998, Sunday
The original full-length version of this entry was accidentally deleted. A backup exists in my Shaque bunk in Virginia, but my mother is afraid of heights and won't climb up there to retrieve it (though I did write her exacting instructions on how to do so -see sidebar). So for now I'll just give an outline of this account, written Sept. 14, 1998:
lizabeth and Franz came over this morning to visit Wacky Jen, Dawn and me at the Division Street apartment above the Raja Rani Indian Restaurant. We sat around talking and playing with various toys, including a special barbyesque doll that flies like a helicopter when you pull a rip cord, definitely a modification of a toy designed for boys.
For a little diversity of scenery, Dawn, Wacky Jen, Elizabeth, Franz and I went down to the State Street business district near the University. Soon Dawn took off to do other things, and the rest of us bought drinks and sat on the University of Michigan Diag, a bit of grassy, shady public space frequented by hippies and punks. Jen and I discretely drank vodka mixed with fruit juice.
Suddenly a guy came up and offered Jen money if she'd pose for a picture, saying she had "cool hair." Elizabeth had spiked her mohawk for her this morning before we'd set out.
Wacky Jen is not about doing things in a half-assed manner. To complete her character as a gutterpunk, she decided she should panhandle, though of course she knew it was all a show and that she was really just a poser. But Morgan Anarchy, who has by now definitely earned his gutterpunk credentials, was the one who actually gave her the mohawk to begin with and he obviously thought her having a mohawk was appropriate, not appropriation.
The panhandling worked well and Jen raked in an unexpected amount of money. She called out to just anyone walking by, asking if they wanted to have a picture taken with a "real punk rocker." Asians with cameras seemed to respond best to her pitch. Jen was especially good with the kids, suggesting they affect an angry, rebellious grimace while she posed with one arm gently around them and one arm held up in a fist.
Various people noticed Jen's panhandling and came up to us to investigate further. The first was a bare-chested dude who reeked of cigarettes. He gave Jen some change, snapped some pictures, and (evidently lacking a social life of his own), sat with us for a long time.
Later a heavily-tattooed shaven-headed guy who'd been watching from afar walked over and began to quiz Jen on her punk rock credentials, asking her where her tattoos were, why she was wearing animal products and what music she likes. "Sleater-Kinney!" she responded without hesitation. He didn't make any comment one way or the other about that; Sleater-Kinney is obscure enough that this guy probably hadn't heard of them and didn't know they were actually a low-fi band with a female singer, not an obscure punk rock band. As for him, he thought Rancid, especially their latest album, was the epitome of punk rock. But in the end it turned out he was just a Hare-Krishna pod person trying to sell us on a free Hare Krisna dinner.
I had a problem nagging me; to preserved my sanity I desperately needed to upload musings of some sort. So Franz took me over to a university computing center at nearby Angell Hall. It was a roofed-over plaza between buildings and was full of hundreds of computers, both Macs and PCs. You needed a password to use them, but Franz's account still worked from the time (over a year ago) when he was a U of M student, and he said I could use it for access.
ranz, Elizabeth and Jen went off to explore nearby structures (such as the University clock tower) while I worked on the musings. Franz came over several times to update me on where he and the others were going.
But when I finally set out to find them, I quickly became lost in the unfamiliar campus. I decided my search would be aided enormously if I had a bicycle, so (since I was still kind of drunk on vodka) I simply stole one, an old red 12 speed with one of those easy-to-pick locks where you line up four numbers. Playing with the dial, you can usually feel the first number give a little when it's correct. Sometimes another number will reveal itself as well. This leaves only a few combinations to cycle through. This particular lock was kind of rusted, though, so my fingers became sore in the process of figuring out the magic number.
As I cycled around campus, up and down unknown streets, suddenly Franz saw me and called out to me. He and the others were in the outdoor café of a beer place called Goodtime Charlie's on South University, a decidedly fratty Ann Arbor business district. They were all surprised to see I'd already "obtained" a bicycle for myself. I ordered myself a tall beer and snacked down on leftover nachos; Elizabeth and Franz had ordered far more than they could possibly eat.
ack at the Division Street Apartment, I managed (after some tries) to contact my long-lost college chum, Matt Rogers, who I haven't seen in ten years. He's living in Ypislanti, a smaller industrial city to the southeast. we talked briefly and I gave him directions.
When Matt eventually came over, I noted that he looks largely the same, though he's going bald (that was one of the first facts he volunteered about himself) and his eyes are sunken into his head just a bit. We caught up on old friends and discussed more recent stuff, such as his life in an Ann Arbor co-operative. Periodically he would mention someone whom Dawn knew (and whom I didn't know at all) and that would have the pleasant effect of drawing her into our conversation.
n the late evening, Wacky Jen, Dawn, Matt Rogers and I all went over to the West Woodlawn house to play cards. When we first showed up, there was definitely a need for something to break the ice, so Dawn sent Jen, Matt and me on a beer run in her car (me driving). We came back with a rather large amount of brew.
Matt and I didn't play cards, we stood around awkwardly, sipping beers and discussing the social structures we were witnessing in code language, like a little strip of HTML commentary adjacent to a large content frame. I realized that what we were witnessing was yet another subculture, with its own protocols and language. The West Woodlawn people (including Krazy Thom) are very serious about cards, playing for big stacks of coins (not green money). But they couldn't get too wild (or even smoke cigarettes indoors), since some of them had kids who were sleeping in the other room. None of it looked especially interesting to me. But Wacky Jen, true to form, dove in head-first. And she did surprisingly well considering it was her first time. For awhile she'd amassed a small fortune in coins, but by the end of the evening she was only a few dollars ahead. Of course, it's fair to note that she was playing with borrowed money.
Matt and I went outside and talked about modern advances in do-it-yourself studio recording while we waited for the games to come to an end.
att, Jen and I went back to the Division Street house together and stayed up late talking. I was a bit embarrassed at Matt Roger's pompous wordy monologues. After he left, Wacky Jen could sort of understand why he has trouble getting laid.
acky Jen and I did the hanky panky after we went to bed. This was the first time we'd been intimate since we got to Ann Arbor. It was very passionate. She's got a good body, especially her ass, especially when she's dressed in a silky white slip.
Hi Hoagie, I have a little task for you, though I realize this may be impossible for you.
Well, it shouldn't be, but we'll see how good you are. This involves athletic skills and computer skills.
This is what I need, a file off the computer in the bunk.
To do this you'll need a floppy disk, blank. If you climb up in the bunk (oh, I know that's hard!), and sit there facing the computer equipment, the computer is the beige box on the far right side. The mouse is a white thing with two buttons lying nearby somewhere, the keyboard is on the edge of the bed. Normally when I say "click the mouse" I mean click the left button, okay. Use the Psychology text book for a firm mousing surface.
Don't put the disk in the computer yet!
To turn on the computer, you need to flip the switch on the power strip that is directly behind the computer monitor. The box will slowly come to life, go through some motions and such and then you'll get the Windows 95 desktop if the monitor is on. Close all the windows that might be open by clicking the little X boxes in their upper right hand corners. When they've all gone away, you will see a number of icons along the left edge of the screen. One will say My Computer. Double click on this, and you'll see a number of icons in a window, one of which will be for the 3.5 inch floppy disk drive.
Put the floppy disk right side up into the smaller of the two floppy drives (there will be three drives: one a CD ROM drive, one a 5.25 inch drive, one a 3.5 inch drive. You need to put the disk in the 3.5 inch drive since it is a 3.5 inch disk, right?). Now, my guess is that the disk is in the wrong format. You need to format the disk. If you right-click (click with the right mouse button) on the Floppy Disk Icon in My Computer, a pop-up menu will pop-up. One of the options will be format. Go ahead and format the disk. A window will pop up asking you whether you really want to do this. You do, but make sure you are formatting the floppy disk and not one of my hard drives. When it finally gets going, the drive will make little clicketty noises and the light on the drive will flash green. This will take a minute, and then it will ask you to give the disk a name, but that's unnecessary. Just click okay.
Now you need to get me my file. One of the desktop icons is called poo. Double click on poo. It will open and in there will be lots of stuff. Double click on Gus Website. That will open, look around and double click on musings, that will open, now double click on jul98. Obviously, if you can't see the entire contents of the window, you may need to scroll around to see these things, but they are there.
I need you to copy 05.htm from the jul98 folder to the floppy drive. This is simply a matter of right-clicking on the 05.htm icon, waiting for the pop-up menu, and then selecting send to... 3.5 inch floppy disk. Okay? The drive should come to life and the copy should happen. Yay!
Now, shut down the computer (Start menu---shutdown). If that doesn't work, just turn off the power strip. If it does work, also turn off the power strip. The power strip must be OFF when you are done.
Go down to the Macintosh, put the floppy in. Get on the internet. send me some mail. Click the attach button and attach the 05.htm file and mail it. Any questions?
Thanks a lot. The alternative is me returning from Michigan.
one year ago
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